The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2018

Course handbook


Each student is placed in a human service organisation for a minimum of 70 days/ (500 hours) to complete social work tasks with the support of supervision from a qualified social worker. The Social Work Field Education Coordinator locates and supports the field practicum. Each student is allocated to a practicum organisation by the BSW (Hons) field education coordinator, taking into account the learning needs of the student, any conflicts of interest and the type of placements available. The practicum is assessed against learning objectives. Students are well supported during the practicum with preparation for practicum classes prior to the commencement of the placement, classes during the practicum and a staff liaison person allocated to each student.

Policies, procedures and expectations relating to field practicum courses in the Bachelor of Social Work Honours program are detailed in the BSW (Hons) Field Education Handbook, a copy of which is available online.

Availability2018 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2018

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate skills in social work assessment and intervention by applying knowledge and methods relevant to presenting practice situations.

2. Engage with clients/service users/communities in a respectful, non-discriminatory way that is appropriate to presenting situations and in keeping with ethical and legislative requirements.

3. Complete appropriate written communication skills in recording and reporting on practice in keeping with ethical principles, legislative requirements and organisational procedures.

4. Demonstrate effective communication and teamwork when engaging with other professional disciplines.

5. Demonstrate self reflection and effective use of supervision to increase self awareness, manage stress and improve practice.

6. Demonstrate an understanding of policies, procedures and structures within the organisation and wider systems and how policies impact on outcomes for clients, groups and communities.

7. Identify potential for positive change and how this might be achieved in practice.

8. Apply knowledge and skills in conducting research consistent with social work values and principles.

9. Demonstrate initiative and responsibility for own learning and professional development.


Each student is placed in a human service organisation for a minimum of 70 days/ (500 hours) to complete social work tasks with the support of supervision from a qualified social worker (field educator or external field educator).

The student prepares a learning plan based on the AASW practice standards in consultation with the field educator and/or external field educator that specifies tasks and outcomes to be achieved during the practicum. The learning plan template and preparation guide is available on Blackboard for SWRK3300. The learning plan identifies how the student will demonstrate achievement of the learning objectives, against which the student is assessed. The learning plan should be submitted electronically to the student's University Field Liaison Officer within ten days of commencing placement. The Field Liaison Officer will provide feedback to the student on their plan and advise of its feasibility and acceptance.

A midplacement review is conducted to facilitate processing of what has happened to date on the placement, contribute to planning of the remainder of placement and renegotiate the learning plan, if necessary. The midplacement review involves a visit to the agency by the university liaison officer and a three-way discussion on the learning process with the student, field educator and external field educator where one is appointed. Decisions and outcomes from this discussion should be incorporated into a mid-placement report prepared by the student. The mid-placement report template is available on Blackboard for SWRK3300. The mid-placement report should be submitted electronically to the university liaison within five days of the mid-placement visit. Your university liaison will complete feedback and make recommendations on the basis of this report.

An end of placement review by student, field educator and external field educator where there is one appointed provides the opportunity to reflect on the second part of placement and to look for future learning needs. The end of placement report is submitted by the Field Educator but is completed in consultattion with the student. Students do not need to submit an additional report. NB. All reports must be received by the School (with a signed hard copy) before a final grade will be awarded. The end of placement field educator's report seeks feedback from the field educator/s on the student's progress towards learning goals, an assessment of the student's strengths and areas for development, and a review of opportunities the field educator has had to observe student performance. A standardised report format is included on Blackboard for SWRK3300. All field educators also receive an electronic copy of these documents. The completed and signed report should be sent to the PEU in hard copy. Mailing details are included in the Field Education Handbook (a copy of which is on the Blackboard site for SWRK3300).

Classes prior to and during the placement will address practicum learning processes needed to progress through the course and are a compulsory requirement of SWRK3300.

Review of Progress

This course is a compulsory program requirement for students in the following program(s):

In addition to meeting the University's overall requirements for academic progression, students enrolled in these program(s) must satisfactorily complete this course in order to progress in their program.


This course is only available to student who have successfully completed SWRK3007 or are concurrently enrolled in SWRK3007 and are active in the Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) program.

Assumed knowledge

SWRK1001, SWRK1002, SWRK2003, SWRK2001, SWRK2200.

Assessment items

Professional Task: Placement reviews

Report: Field work reports

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

Pre-Placement Requirements:

  • NSW Health Verification Requirements - Mandatory NSW Health Verification Requirements must be met. - NSW Health Immunisation Requirements, and where placed in a NSW Health site online HETI training as stipulated by NSW Health.
  • National Police Certificate - Students must complete a National Police Check.
  • Working with Children - A national criminal history check and review of findings of misconduct involving children, required for any child-related work.

Contact hours



Face to Face Off Campus 500 hour(s) per Term Full Term

Practicum for 70 days / 500 Hour(s) per Term


Face to Face On Campus 21 hour(s) per Term Full Term